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3 Simple rules to WINING at Low Stakes Online Poker Tournaments.

Updated on October 20, 2010

Rule #1 - Bankroll Management.

This is the most important rule. It is best to never buy in to anything over 5% of your funds available. I like pokerstars the best because they have sit n go's that go all the way down to 2 cents. I recommend nothing playing the hyper turbos though and stick to the 10 cent or 25 cent tournys as your minimum buyin. Myself, I only buy in to things that are 1% of my bank roll. So if i have 110$ i would be playing the 1.10$ tournys as a max buyin. This is a very strong bankroll method assuring that I will never go broke. I am currently at 1,200$ and climbing using this bankroll method. Sticking to this formula no matter what is the best way to practice poker for higher stakes and build a bankroll at the same time.

Rule #2 : Play Strong or Get out.

No matter what, when you have a hand bet. The only time I don't push with a strong hand is when someone is raising ahead of me. Then its either allin or get out. Never be scared of pushing someone out when you have a good hand. In low stakes its far better to put people to a decision because far more people will draw. If you have any experience of online poker, then you know about the suck outs. I don't recommend going allin with anything other than AA,KK,QQ when someone is pushing. Also the only starting hands I play when at any stakes below 4$ is AA,KK,QQ,JJ,1010, and AK. Once you get above 4$ in stake, you will be more experienced in how people play and when you should bluff and when not to. Basically, just don't bluff and you will win in the long run. Hands that you get to limp in with on the big and small blind are best not to get involved with. The only exception is when you hit a strong hand like two pair or better without any draws to a hand that will be far superior to yours. For example if you hit two pair and there is three spades on the flop, it is generally best to get play safe and get out. On the other end if you hit two pair with say ace x and there is no flush/straight possibility, bet whats in the pot. The biggest thing to this strategy is playing it consistently. If stray from this every so often, this will be your biggest setback.

Rule #3 : Bide your time.

 The biggest threat to you at low stakes poker is your mind. Basically being patient is the key to success. A good tip to decide which tournys to play is go and uncheck show registering only in the poker lobby. This will show all the running and completed games thus allowing you to see how long an average tournament will take. Most take 1 hour + unless heads up so if you don't have at least that long, don't bother playing. Also when you know this, you have and ideal of how long you have to last. Ultimately this is the only thing that matters is lasting until your making money. Don'y worry about how many chips you have because this means nothing. I have had tournys where the whole thing I played maybe 10 hands and only got really involved in 3. I doubled up for each of these 3 though and stole some blinds on about 4 of the others. I took 5th place out of roughly 860 people and this was simply just playing very strong hand very strongly. A key to doing that also is ditching some good starting hands when people are getting involved. I folded kings at the final table when 3 people went allin ahead of me. Pocket 5's Ak and aj were all ahead of me. Even thought i was ahead, on the flop a 5 flew and I would have ended up losing. Low stakes tournys are best played by just not getting involved when other people are and Seizing pots when you can. This will undoubtedly bring you more success.

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